Men, men, men! You know I havent lived that many years but I know how the nature of a man can be lodged in their pride and a strong in-born territorial spirit.
But I want to ask this question; to what extent can you let your pride harm your wellbeing and compromise all that you stand for as a man? On Sunday, I read of a woman tormented and “left for dead” by HIV/AIDS. And trust me, the story is the same with a generous number of South Africans. Aids tears up families and leaves you with Shame and Shun! This woman pour her heart out about how she had to understand the desease at the tender age of 10 through a mother she says “wasted away” with every hospital visit. She speaks of how it was at an era where you would be stoned if you made mention of having the desease and a time when the government , ran by Thabo Mbeki , was indenial, so was the rest of society anyway. I could totally relate because Aids has touched me directly and in-directly.
She spoke of how her father and sister later died of the desease as well and still, no one wanted to talk about it. But the thing is what do you say about HIV/AIDS? What line of conversation can you imagine between you and your ailling father or mother on a death bed? I am ot saying it is impossible but merely proving to you how immensely difficult it is. It is that elephant in the room that weighs in on you and you feel as though as you see your loved one dissolve, you are taken with them, only in spirit! We prefer to speak about HIV/AIDS when it has happened and, even when it has stricken we shy away. Are we ever going to talk?
One thing I wish print media can talk about is the male stars in the industry who are dying from this desease and would rather die holding the mic then say something about it. Why are you holding the mouth piece to begin with if you’re not going to say something that holds impact? Like, I am dying and I am in denial.
When Brown Dash appeared on our television screens still holding on to the microphone looking like a phaded version of himself, the nation was in a state of shock. We wondered why he had left himself until this point. What was left of him was his voice. He knew he was sick, his friends and colleagues knew and family knew and yet they all sat “nga phansi kom’ thunzi we langa” and said nothing!
When Thabang Lebese died no one was prepared to say anything until a later stage. http://www.sowetanlive.co.za/sport/2012/03/06/lebese-had-aids
Jabu “Okumhlophe Sithole is no isolated case. He stayed off our tv screens for months before we could hear at a Press Briefing held by his record company’ Ghetto ruff thats he is ailling. A trust was erected yet it was too late. “Kwaba Mnyama nga leyo ndlela” … it was dark!
I was proud and deeply hurt the day I tuned into popular music show, Live on one evening and Zombo, Tebogo Ndlovu appeared, frail and unappealing, and he disclosed his HIV status. It was too damn late because “they” used that platform to ask the nation to help. A couple of weeks later, Zombo died. http://www.mio.co.za/article/zombo-passes-on-2008-02-18
Another star, a man in the entertainment who suffered but stuck to his guns and said nothing!
Soccer star Sizwe Motaung, then talented Snothi Mthalane, then Yfm’s happening deejay Fana ‘Khabzela Khaba, then Makgatho Mandela before that Inkatha Freedom Party’s Themba Khoza and Mangosuthu Buthelezi’s two children also died from this desease and it goes to show that more men in the public eye are affected “Silently”
Beyond this I want you to understand that this is the industry as I see it. We do have women who have been affected and they lived openly about it. They disclosed. Lesego Motsepe did! http://www.timeslive.co.za/ilive/2012/02/14/positive-role-model
Criselda Kanada did! http://www.doctormol.com/tv-shows/03-05-2012/living-with-hiv.html?insertID=35
Angie Diale is living in the open about it! She is healthy and strong because she has accepted that she is not invincible. She is a human being who made mistakes, but now has to live with this condition. http://www.sowetanlive.co.za/sowetan/archive/2009/11/26/angie-has-what-it-takes-to-fight-hiv
Zodwa Khoza was openly living with it for a while until it claimed her beautiful soul.
My point is… men prefer to NOT disclose their statuses and leave us to wonder whilst women accept it and openly address it. I go back to the nature of a man, they don’t talk. This according to age-old research some knuckle-head came up with and widely dispersed upon the general public. Men don’t talk. About anything! Well here is the deal, you have to talk. You have to disclose so that by the time it hits you and you are knocking on either heaven or hell’s door, we have tried and exhausted all possible means to have you live longer and stronger.
I leave you with a hero’s story, the one guy I used to rush home after school at Nageng Primary School to listen to on Radio and thought (at the time); “He is stupid, is he even allowed to say this. Is my father listening, I might get into trouble for this” I was captivated. He spoke his mind and that made him the legend he is in my eyes. I fell in love with my radio. He embraced his status. And at the tender age I was (11 years) it was a monster that attacked! I wanted to protect myself no matter how but it still creeped up somehow through loved ones and affected the way I view SEX. I love Khaba for his spirit, he died a soldier and was a man!
“Khabzela’s voice was barely audible, but he seemed adamant that it was not the end. He said he missed his show and he would “be back on radio talking crap again”.
“Thin, weak and wheelchair-bound, Khabzela still exuded inner strength through his sense of humour and charisma. However it was difficult for the 50 people, mainly family and friends, to see him as Maloka puts it, “the same old crazy guy from the airwaves”.
Dear Man, learn! You think because you are the “alpha” it will not get to you? It got Magic Johnson. Who are you?
…Smiles. So…what’s your status?